The Toronto Student Transportation Group is an initiative between both the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Toronto District School Board. Our goal is to ensure the health and safety of our students through various modes of transportation and to help families make informed decisions regarding their transportation choices when accessing education here in Toronto.
As the Toronto School Boards prepare to return to school this September we wanted to highlight some of new protocols and procedures that will be in place on the school bus.
● Before every trip, bus drivers, students, parents and staff must self-assess for any COVID-19 symptoms. All students and drivers who experience symptoms must self-isolate and stay home. If a child develops symptoms while at school, he/she will not be permitted to return home on a school bus and must be picked up by a parent/guardian or provided a safe alternate means of transportation.
● ALL STUDENTS will be required to wear non-medical masks on school buses. Exceptions will be made for students with medical conditions or special needs.
● Special care and attention will be given to supporting students with special education needs. Some children may not be able to use masks or may have medical or other special circumstances that require accommodations. Please inform the principal and transportation department of any accommodation requirements as soon as possible.
● School bus drivers will be required to wear medical masks and/or face shields when students are entering and exiting the bus.
● Students will be assigned seats on the bus. Students who live in the same household or who are in the same classroom cohort will be seated together.
● Enhanced cleaning for high touch surfaces (e.g. seat tops and inside hand railing) will be performed before and after each shift, as well as in between runs. Frequency of general cleaning and deep cleaning will also be increased.
● Whenever possible, windows will be opened to increase ventilation on the bus.
● Hand sanitizer will be made available on the bus, and drivers will use sanitizer before and after assisting a child to their seat (if applicable), touching wheelchairs or other assistive devices, or having other direct contact with children, as needed throughout a trip and where gloves are not able to be used.
● Signage will be displayed on buses to reinforce the importance of wearing masks, staying six feet apart where possible (e.g. lining up for the bus, boarding and disembarking), using good hand hygiene and not going into the aisles or congregating near the driver.
● We have prepared 5 short videos that captures this information above to ensure safety of the students and drivers on the bus.